tv [untitled] January 6, 2012 11:31pm-12:01am PST
premises liquor in our neighborhood. another large formula of retail chain pharmacy is neither necessary nor desirable for our neighborhood. there's already 3 chain pharmacies and one small health- care store within a few blocks of the site. when that large formula retail chain pharmacies also wants to sell liquor, it is even less desirable. our neighborhood, as you saw, is inundated with places to buy liquor. the trader joe's right next door is taking the license, it is not a matter of convenience. the person shopping at cvs does not even have to move their car. if cvs is allowed to sell liquor, how will we say no when the two walgreen's want to sell liquor in order to compete? also, the plan cvs to buy local liquor licenses -- i do not think it is a good precedent to set.
san francisco neighborhoods have fought to keep their distinctive characters. we do not want to become a strip mall type of a city. the product group has told us that there is no project without cvs, and cvs told us there is no project without a liquor license. as much as i do not want to see that site and the, and i understand the inconvenience it is causing many people, i really do not appreciate our neighborhood being held hostage in the name of corporate greed. the only reason they want a liquor license is to make more money. i strongly urge you to deny this conditional use. commissioner olague: thank you. is there additional public comment on this item? you can come to the microphone. >> i do not know if i know enough about the whole issue, but i do approve of the project. i think it is that it to have something there than not have
something there. i think what i'm seeing is there's a lot of people that it is just too far for them to go to get what they need. i also think it is just dangerous to have a big, and the building -- and the building in the area. i feel a little bit more safe when there is something there. this was the liquor license. they have always sold liquor there, so i do not know exactly what the issue is, but i do approve. thank you. >> good afternoon. good to see you again. i am concerned about this particular project for many reasons. certainly, we need a grocery
store in the neighborhood. that is inherited. but i'm troubled that we only have one choice as to what is going to happen with the rest of the space that apparently the grocery store cannot use. there is only one option given, and that is only cvs. we have tried to reach out to them, but as has already been stated, we have never met with an employee. at best, they will send a consultant. if that is what it is like now during this negotiating phase, what will it be like if they get in there and we had issues? we believe also that the 24-hour plan requires more discussion. we believe that two formula retail uses at this location requires much more discussion. there was a meeting between three neighborhood associations neighborhoodprado --
neighborhood associations, prado, trader joe's, cvs. they talked about buying up problematic liberalizes is in the neighborhood, specifically two problematic with licenses. the problematic liquor licenses, to give you an idea of the information we were provided -- if we could do the overhead quickly -- i can hand is out to you if that is too hard to read. 1590 pacific -- we are actively trying to purchase this license. we will agree to restrict this license if purchased to a limit to the type 21. the location is slated to close upon approval of new tenant sherman williams.
this will prevent a liquor store from opening in this location. this location is the junk shop, which has been a very prominent liquor store in the neighborhood for 40-some years, but that is an idea of the quality of information we have been provided. seems like a lot of smoke and mirrors. also, other neighborhood associations are asking for more attention to be paid on this very serious formula retail application that we have in front of us. also, it was stated that once a week, they want to clean the sidewalk. i live a block away on sacramento, much quieter street. i have to clean my sidewalk every day. if they are looking at cleaning the site look every week, it shows they do not understand the neighborhood. and we do not want the neighborhood to become a strip mall.
thank you. commissioner olague: is there any additional public comment on this item? seeing none, public comment is closed. commissioner miguel: two of the public speakers had particularly interesting comments. one, the next-to-last speaker -- and i may not be quoting totally accurately, said it is that it had something than nothing. i will agree with that one -- said it is better to have something than nothing. i will agree with that one. but stephen phrase things very well when he said it should be two separate hearings. the prado group basically circumvented anything this commission or anyone else could do here they put the deal together where it is all or nothing, and yet, it is two different businesses, two
different formula retail, so we are presented this fait accompli, which i do not like. i hope i do not see it again. this is also very bad land use planning. the city had long ago decided that what such as this should be developed -- the lot such as this should be developed in conjunction with housing -- that blocks such as this should be developed in conjunction with housing -- daft for -- that lots such as they should be developed in conjunction with housing. i fully appreciate the neighborhoods concession in a way to taking what they can get
in a year rather than the three or four-year break down, in spite of it being that land use planning. i do not know if any of the other pharmacies is open 24 hours. sometimes, the concept of a 24- hour pharmacy -- there have been very few over the years in san francisco -- can work out well. i like the idea, obviously, of monitoring parking queues. the loading conditions, the hours, that sort of thing. the closing of the lower area of the parking lot after trader joe's was closed, but i cannot approve this in any manner whatsoever if there is a liquor license for cvs, and that is one
of the reasons i am very aggravated the ideas put together as a dual situation. i have no problem, truthfully, with the old license going to trader joe's. it is a standard part of their business. but i, and as most of you know, have been struggling for a definition. it is not a drug store. it is a mixed merchandise organization. does not have to, in my mind, have a liquor license. similar stores -- their own as well as their major competitor, walgreen's, exist without one. i do not see that you need one here. i absolutely do not think there should be one year. i think it was a nice puerto rico ploy, the concept of buying out -- buying up so-
called troubled licenses -- it was a nice pr ploy. that is great. reduced the number of liquor licenses in the area. as far as i'm concerned, there's too many there already, and it is not necessary. nothing we can do about putting in a more general grocery store. it is very difficult. i know. i have dealt in many areas, and this commission has heard in many areas the problems of getting grocery stores to move in two locations of san francisco. this is a constant problem, particularly the larger, more general merchandise grocery stores. i am pleased with the fact that the majority of the neighborhood is accepting a more specialized but good stores such as trader joe's, but i cannot go along with this if there is a liquor license at cbs -- accepting a more specialized but goods
store -- more specialized but good store such as trader joe's. so one speaker brought up a very interesting point -- this is in regards to the cbs facility -- regards to the cvs facility. i understand many have automatic checkout. >> we work in partnership with scott rutherford. i am the person who has been meeting with the neighborhood groups and to represent cvs representdo -- do represent cvs directly.
it is not a consulting relationship. you may have seen a dramatic sales in self-check out -- you have seen automatic sales and self-check out, but we do have a staff checkout counter. right now, there's no plans. it is possible. it is a customer convenience, something they have played with in various stores and will be determined as they move forward with the design of the store. >> but i would think your plan right now is not to have this because, obviously, someone who might -- we would need better oversight of the purchase of alcoholic beverages. if they would prefer, -- they would probably prefer to purchase alcohol that way rather than deal with someone who could monitor it. >> that is not possible.
it is not possible to scan age- restricted limits. the requirements without a manager and someone over the age of 21 check out anyone making an alcoholic beverage purchase. >> that the concern it could not happen because of the nature of the checkout. the other question i have is there has been a lot of commentary on the liquor licenses. of course, a trader joe's, from what i understand, will assume the one of the previous tenant. i believe they have hard liquor as well as beer and wine. cvs is seeking only beer and wine. is that correct? >> correct. >> it is good you have that clarification. >> thank you. those are my main questions. i think that answers them, but i have some additional comments. i think sometimes we are getting a little bit too much into -- i know it is part of our conditional use process and sometimes we do with alcohol
sales, but these are sometimes abc issues, but i know it is part of the whole process. i do not really see -- i guess my other question, which i should have asked, but maybe somebody from staff could answer this -- this is a little bit of an abc issue -- what i'm hearing said is that cvs was going to buy -- in order to have alcoholic beverage sales, do they have to buy a liquor license out or not? i think as a right, they are allowed to sell that. maybe somebody could answer that question. >> you have to buy one. >> rick crawford, department staff, there is an off sell beer and wine license separate from an off-sale been -- liquor license. >> do you have to buy one that is existing? >> that i really cannot speak to.
they have just said they intend to buy an existing license from some other place, but i cannot speak to the other question. >> presumably, it would be one in the area? mr. genius, can you answer that? >> just a very clear statement, there are no new licenses in this area, absolutely. whether it is beer and wine or full liquor, you have to acquire one that is in existence. i the proposal is to acquire one and shrink it down to beer and wine only. >> basically, you would have the same number of liquor licenses, but the license would be modified, and it would not allow for the sale of hard liquor. that will be part of the approval, and sure. >> that would be part of the abc process we are committed to and must go through, but the bottom line is there would be the same number of licenses with the license and cvs -- the license
and -=-- the license at cvs beig restricted. >> i know there are people saying it should be separate projects, but we are dealing with two firms working together to make it consult economically. whether or not there is a beer and wine license at trader joe's and also at the cvs really does not add to the problem with alcohol abuse. someone wants to buy beer and wine and abuse it, they will get it at trader joe's. it does not make too is a difference whether they go across the aisle and by and cvs -- and buy at cvs, too. i think hours of operation are similar between the two stores. it is actually limiting less hours than before.
you could buy liquor in the entire spectrum of the allowable purchase time under california law. now i understand we are looking at an 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. opening for both of the stores. for those who were concerned about another place to buy liquor, particularly at night, it will not be there. that would be our condition, i think, those hours of operation. at least at this time. i would like to ask staff if they would like to come back to expand their hours or whether they would be able to do that without separate approval, but that is a point i think we will have to deal with later. then, in terms of the actual -- i think trader joe's is great. i shop there probably more than anyplace else because there is one across the street from us now. they do have some poultry, fish, some other items -- oftentimes, they are prepackaged in various forms. there is some produce.
it is not as widespread as a full market, and once a week or whenever it is necessary to do a shock for some other items, you may have to leave the area, but i think trader joe's is generally well priced, i think, and handy and generally pretty healthy products, which is another thing that has not been brought up. almost all of their items are low sodium, and they have a lot of products that i think are better for you. finally, i think commissioner miguel also commented on the land use issue. in an ideal world, no question. you would like to have housing and in some detail on the ground level. you go without anything for quite a time -- i think there was a plan that was out there early on that was going to have some sort of mixed use situation, but that is not what is before us now. one would presume that if there were a proposal in the next few years that came up with a mixed use development that included housing and retail, aside from
the loss of the available shopping, this in no way precludes that from happening. it could be viewed as an interim use, which i think project sponsors would agree with me that that could still happen. i am in favor of this. i think it answers a lot of the questions and a lot of the needs in the area, and that is an area that it really is underserved by anything close to a grocery store, so this is going to meet a lot of those needs. commissioner borden: going back to the original land use thing, the first question i asked was what happened to the plan. i think we were all looking forward to seeing a mixed use project, but i think we recognize the realities of the financing field going on with the city. so this is what has come together.
i personally think that the idea is a compliment, and the reason why is because i shop at trader does come -- i shop at trader joe's, but i also have to shop the other place. i grew up with cvs. my parents go there quite frequently. i'm very familiar with them. what i'm disappointed about is that it seems to be a breakdown in communication with cvs and the community. i'm not really sure what went wrong. there does not seem to be genuine outrage -- genuine out reach -- genuine outreach. you said you had been at community meetings. how many community meetings did you actually attend? >> the large community meeting was prior to my involvement.
we did sit down with middle polk, lower polk, and the merchants association. we came right -- we came up with some ideas to give the neighborhood some comfort. a list of licenses was actually from myself. i said an e-mail letter with my contact information and did not receive a single phone call. >> -- commissioner moore: -- commissioner borden: i love the job shop. is that still on the meeting? >> what would it was asked about problems. commissioner borden: it was a list of asking who are the problem liberalizes is. >> we went out to every liquor license, everyone we knew we could not obtain a license from -- safeway, and it like that -- anyone like that -- was eliminated. we sent a letter to every other business asking if they were interested in selling their
license. we then went back to lower polk, the only group that reach out to us and was willing to have conversations about mitigation measures and give us a short list of licenses that were real problems. commissioner borden: sounds like you have been to one meeting. >> i have also been to the middle polk. they are a specific organization at the coffee shop. commissioner borden: i would encourage you to have people on the ground, regularly meet with people in the beginning. the biggest hurdle, independent of the issue about whether or not there is a liquor license included -- the issue is that there was not adequate neighborhood outreach. in san francisco, that is very much required to be successful. you want to be neighborhood partners, and it is regrettable that they did not come together that way. i think they are a nice
complement to each other, but it puts us in a bad position as commissioners because we really respect the community and their input and the sort of issues because it directly impacts them. >> to be clear, it is disheartening for me as well. we have always held neighborhood meetings and expand a notification beyond requirements. my card is always given. my cell phone number is always there. commissioner borden: are you locally headquartered? >> i work out of los angeles and have an office in berkeley as well. unfortunately, there were no requests. this is somewhat news to me. >> just to follow-up, and then i will wait for everyone else. i think the neighborhood group said there was no one from cvs itself. i think there is sometimes a big -- sometimes it becomes an issue
if you send your lawyer or a representative, even though you may be authem, or something lik. there is a perception that that is great, but where is the company? i think that is what i heard. commissioner borden: you can sit down. i think you have answered enough questions, but i think that is something we need to get on the record. i was less than enthusiastic about the liquor license, but when it was brought the idea of not taking the trouble with a license, i thought that would maybe be ok, but then i hear this list that makes me freak out. i know there was a letter out to the commission. because i understood that the supervisor's office was working
on the issue. i know technically, the liquor license issue is not before us today. it is to be used for the project, and there was some hint that the supervisor's office was working on it. i just wanted to hear whether indeed the supervisor's office has been involved on this particular point about the troubled liquor license. my only thing was that there were people in the community who said that they would prefer not to weigh in on the issue because there were other things working behind the scenes, and i just wanted to understand what that was. >> yes, i appreciate the question. because they are behind the scenes, and if you are trying to acquire a troubled liberalizes, you did not want everyone to know which ones you are trying to get because if they do know, then they will ask a large price. we do have an number in our neighborhood.
we are different than middle polk. we have more issues and more trouble spots. your question was if we have been talking to supervisors, and, yes, we have. matter of fact, last night, i was in conversation with supervisor chu on this very issue. we feel it is equal. commissioner borden: my thing is i'm supportive of the projects. i think they complement each other because of the lack of things that trader joe's provides the cvs -- that cvs can provide. i do not know if the hospital provides pharmacy, but i think it does not. it is convenient for people to be able to walk across the
street to access a pharmacy. i also know now that walgreen's has taken over in the neighborhood. walgreen bridging the right it does not exist anymore. -- rite aid does not exist any more because walgreen's purchased them. in terms of the liquor license, my whole issue is that we are not voting on it today, but i think the supervisors are working on something and of members of the community are working on something, i do not but i think we can make a strong statement on how we feel about that. but i think it is important to let the community process play out. i also believe the supervisor will do what is in the best interest of all the neighborhood groups on the issue, and i would rather leave the decision in his hands, since there seems to be
something at play. commissioner fong: i am actually in strong support of the project as proposed, and i will tell you why -- the former tenant offered alcohol. 30,000 square foot space -- it is huge. you could play football in there. the stores are going to divide it up. if you counted the linear feet of alcohol that were there compared to what it is going to be, it will be probably about the same. it will not be statistically more or less. i see this as a one-to-one exchange of what was there before and what will be there potentially in the future. it does not strike me as the previous 10 it was a trouble spot with people hanging out and drinking outside. i could be wrong about that, but it did not strike me as a trouble spot.
it is very importantly near st. francis hospital, which is one of our own emergency rooms in the northern part of the city. to have a pharmacy with parking, in particular, should one of a sprained our ankles and need to get emergency medication right after the emergency room, i think it is a perfect location -- should one of us sprain our ankles. as one of the speakers mentioned, when something is closed and the lights are not on, it does attract nuisance, often. i am supportive of it as proposed. i would make a motion to approve. commissioner miguel: i was looking over the conditions of approval. not seeing any hours. >> no,